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The Big Take

Junior Bankers Have Seized the Upper Hand on Wall Street, for Now

With potential recruits balking at 100-hour-plus weeks, banks are raising salaries in a race to attract grunts, er, “talent.”

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Illustration: Martin Groch for Bloomberg Businessweek

At first, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executives watched with puzzled detachment. One competitor after another was bumping up pay for junior bankers—the entry-level grunts who can churn out 100-plus-hour weeks trying to get their footing in the business. But as the raises kept spreading, Goldman managers grew agitated. One senior executive groused that rivals were using gimmicks to gain an edge in recruiting because they lacked the prestige of Wall Street’s premier investment banking franchise.
 

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